In Malmo JCC attack, dropping of charges against two leaves no suspects

(JTA) — Police in Malmo have no suspects in September’s attack on the Swedish city’s Jewish community center after dropping charges against two suspects.

Anders Lindell, a police spokesman, told JTA that all charges were dropped against the 18-year-old men who were arrested shortly after the Sept. 28 attack.

“We have concluded the suspects could not have done it," he said. "The investigation is ongoing.” 

The two were arrested shortly after an explosion was heard outside the JCC, which also houses a day school for Jewish children. The bullet-proof entrance door was smashed in the incident.

Police at first declined to define the attack as anti-Semitic but eventually classified it as a hate crime.

In 2009, unidentified persons set off an explosive device outside the city’s synagogue. In the past few years, approximately 70 anti-Semitic incidents were reported annually in Malmo, which has a few hundred Jews amid a population that is 30 percent to 40 percent Muslim. 

Malmo Mayor Ilmar Reepalu has equated Zionism to anti-Semitism and advised Jews not to support Israel for their own safety. He also has said that the Jewish community had been infiltrated by extreme rightists.

The per capita prevalence of anti-Semitic incidents in Malmo is twice that of Stockholm, the capital.

There have been a number of marches to protest anti-Semitism in recent months, drawing both Jews and non-Jews and in one case, Reepalu.

Earlier this week, the Swedish Committee Against Antisemitism, an NGO, recognized with an award Siavosh Derakhti, a 21-year-old Muslim from Malmo who filmed an educational trip he had made to Auschwitz. Derakhti has screened the video in Swedish schools in an effort to educate young Swedes about the Holocaust. 

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